£6 billion to be invested in “Northern Powerhouse”

In a 2015 Report, Chancellor George Osbourne MP laid out his plans to invest £6 billion in the North East economy in order to create a “Northern Powerhouse” fuelling local economic growth, jobs, transport and tourism. The Rt. Hon. Chancellor set out his long term plans of adding an additional £6billion to the North east Economy over the next 15 years, indicating high growth potential for the local economy (1).

Further development potential for areas such as Newcastle and County Durham also hiked in 2015 when plans were released for a new high-speed rail network connecting the major towns and cities of the North with each other. It is projected that unemployment could fall in Newcastle by 3.2% between 2015 and 2020 with the addition of the new high speed rail network increasing employment and business opportunities, potentially benefiting the economies of towns such as Crook, Hartlepool, Durham and Darlington (2).

In 2011, County Durham was the largest local authority in the North East by population with 513,200 (3). Durham County Council are currently working towards creating 23,000 new jobs across the major County Durham towns and all other settlements (4). County Durham is home to two designated Unesco World Heritage sites which help to drive 18.1million visitors to the area every year (5).

According to the Office of National Statistics, house prices across County Durham increased 41% between 1998 and 2008 when the economic downturn hit. On average there was a 5% decrease in property prices until 2013 when they recovered to their pre-crash average house price of £105,000 (6) indicating strong tolerance to economic forces. PWC House Price Index suggests that County Durham house prices are approximately 30% lower than the average price across the North East but projects a 4.1% increase in property prices in 2023 alone (7).

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/long-term-economic-plan-for-the-north-east-announced-by-chancellor

2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/11488995/The-HS3-effect-What-high-speed-rail-in-the-North-could-do-for-your-city.html

3. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mro/news-release/census-result-shows-increase-in-population-of-the-north-east/censusnortheastnr0712.html

4. http://www.durham.gov.uk/cdp

5. http://www.visitcountydurham.org/visitor-economy/

6. http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTrendView.do?a=7&b=6275068&c=DH1+5UF&d=13&e=7&f=35100&g=6484166&i=1x1003x1004x1005&l=2793&o=428&m=0&r=0&s=1455031033399&enc=1&adminCompId=35100&variableFamilyIds=10972&xW=1186

7. http://www.pwc.co.uk/assets/pdf/ukeo-section3-housing-market-july-2015.pdf